The Making of Punk Pretty
(Uses 3 Double AA Batteries Only)

By Jackie Joice

The Melbourne (Florida) Film Festival September 9-12, 2000

Only Punk Pretty's trailer, all 2 minutes and 12 seconds of it, was screened at the Melbourne Film Festival. All the profits from the film festival went to a hospice in Melbourne for adults suffering with AIDS. Although only the trailer was screening, I thought it would be a great opportunity to meet people and experience a film festival.

Oh, the finger foods...the finger foods were the best. There were loads of finger foods and two kegs of free beer at the VIP party. My favorites were the mini tomato and cheese quiche cakes. Hmmm...hmmm...hmmm. I wormed my way through the crowd of fifty or so and ate plenty of those and finger sandwiches and drank loads of Pepsi with no caffeine. No, I didn't indulge in the free beer; had I not been driving it would have been a different story. Well, let's get to the festival. .

I arrived a day before the festival, which I highly recommend. I had a chance to get a good night's rest and a chance to get up early the next day and find out where the events of the festival were going to be held. I also checked out some cool thrift stores, c'mon you know I gotta check out the thrift stores. I found out where the street fest was going to be held and the film festival. The film festival was at the Henegar Center for the Arts on New Haven in Melbourne. By the way, Melbourne is a quiet and attractive small town. I met the organizers of the film fest, Dr. Terry Cronin, Jeff Hall, and Patrick Martin at the street party on Friday night. They were very friendly, hospitable, and professional.

I had prepared some press packs (white folders from Staples) with my bio, a Punk Pretty postcard, a budget proposal for my next project and some write-ups on Punk Pretty. Very simple. On the day of the screenings, I placed them on the table with the rest of the film makers' promo-stuff. I should have brought more post-cards, because everyone loved them. I also had a Punk Pretty T-shirt that I wore on VIP night. It was good to know that audience members wanted to see more of the documentary. It was a time issue, and that's why the whole documentary didn't screen.

After the VIP party there was an after party. The after party was down the street at this Irish Pub called Meg O'Malley's. The entertainment: a Scottish man with a plaid skirt playing Scottish rock. This was the first time I ever danced off beat. The food at this place was delicious.

Sometimes I was scared to drive at night, especially since it was raining the whole time I was there. After I left Meg O'Malley's and was slowly driving home on the dark I-95 highway (it was raining that night, too) an old gray pickup truck zoomed past me with a confederate flag in the back window.

Yikes! Thank God I didn't get my flat tire then. Maybe I've just seen too many horror movies, but I hate to think what would have happened. The flat tire was destined to happen later, though, because of course I was a horse thief in one of my past lives.

That Sunday, my last day in Melbourne before I headed back to California, was beautiful. The sky was blue, and it didn't rain. I decided to take this opportunity to spend some time at the beach. It wasn't far from where the film festival was held. I found a rock to sit on, and I let the water splash on my feet. I watched the mullets pop in and out of the water. I had my camera with me to capture the beautiful scenery of Melbourne. I was even graced with the presence of a dolphin feeding on the mullets. The serenity was enjoyable. The sounds of the waves were hypnotic. I dug for seashells and rinsed grains of sand off of them. Time escaped.

I had been sitting there for about an hour and decided to head back to Orlando and turn in the rental car. So here I am in this meditative state, driving on the I-95, and all of sudden my car started pulling to the side. My mouth dropped and my forehead started to itch (that's nerves, right?). I pulled over on the shoulder next to an open canal of tall grass and swampy water, and to my horror I had a flat tire!

Tears just swelled into my eyes! Not only was it a beautiful day, but it was hot and humid. There wasn't a phone box in sight. I thought, "This must be it; this must be my time to go!" And if you think back to the horror movie Amityville horror, the scene in the basement, or was it a hallway, where all the flies were on the window? Just imagine my rental car with hundreds of black bugs gravitating the passenger side of the car. I ran in the car and rolled up the windows, swatting and squishing these menacing insects. I had to regroup. Time was not on my side; I had to do something. I got out and started waving my hand to the traffic, but no one stopped. Finally I just slumped over the hood of the trunk, waiting for an alligator to drag me off into the blades.

Suddenly, a car pulled up behind me. I looked up and then walked over to the car. It was two men. Probably the two men that I stole horses from in my past life.

"Honey, we saw you over here on the shoulder and we were wondering if you're ok?" the passenger inquired.

"Well, actually no, I have a flat and I need it changed," I replied.

"James, honey, go fix her flat for her," the passenger said to the driver.

That was it. James fixed my tire and I made it to the airport on time. Wait a minute: did I mention how I got the car in the first place? Well, as a matter of fact, I don't know how I got the car, either. I didn't have a credit card. I only had a debit card with $68 in my account. We all know that that's not even going to get the President a car ... at least not in the United States of America. That customer service representative was determined to see water well up in my eyes before she made it possible for me to get a car. I think I may have put a deposit down or something, because quite frankly I can't remember what exactly happened. Maybe I blacked out or something, who knows? Nonetheless, after the flat, I didn't get my deposit back either! What a day.

Despite my minor trials and tribulations, the Melbourne Film Festival proved to be a wonderful experience and opportunity.

In next issue:
See what happens next, when Punk Pretty gets accepted into the Planet Indie Film Festival in Toronto

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Jackie Joice
Jackie Joice resides in Long Beach, CA and writes fiction, screen plays, poetry, and has a novel in progress entitled Jambalaya Sunset. Jackie directed and filmed the feminist punk documentary Punk Pretty. Punk Pretty profiles young women in the Southern California punk scene. She loves eating breakfast early in the morning and believes that she was killed on railroad tracks in a past life.